(Updated 5:23 p.m.)
Redskins free safety Tanard Jackson has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, a league spokesman confirmed Friday afternoon.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports first reported the news.
A Redskins spokesman declined to comment. A statement from Jackson’s agent is expected this evening.
This is Jackson’s third drug-related suspension. He missed the first four games of the 2009 season for his first violation. His second suspension, which lasted about 13 months, cost him the last 14 games of 2010 and the first five of 2011.
Both violations occurred during the tenure of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris, who now coaches the Redskins’ defensive backs. Morris helped to bring Jackson to Washington after Tampa Bay released him in April.
When Tampa Bay released Jackson in April, Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik told reporters he was not aware that Jackson had failed any new drug test or was facing additional disciplinary action from the league.
Jackson was progressing toward a starting spot on the Redskins defense. He missed much of the offseason program while recovering from shoulder surgery, and he missed the start of training camp due to a calf strain. He started the preseason game against Indianapolis last Saturday, though, and was active around the line of scrimmage.
Jackson, whose home town is Silver Spring, Md., is suspended without pay. He was scheduled to earn $700,000 this season.
Jackson is one of six safeties on the Redskins roster as Friday night’s deadline for reducing the roster to 53 players approaches. Washington could put him on the reserve/suspended list or release Jackson to avoid having his salary count against the salary cap.
Madieu Williams is expected to start the season at free safety.